Methods: To control the quality of GPHE, the contents of ganodermanontriol, puerarin and kaempferol in the extract were quantified by ultra-performance liquid chromatography. An ethanol (6 ml/kg, i.g.)-induced liver injury ICR mouse model was employed to investigate the hepatoprotective effects of GPHE. RNA-sequencing analysis and bioassays were performed to reveal the mechanisms of action of GPHE.
Results: The contents of ganodermanontriol, puerarin and kaempferol in GPHE were 0.0632%, 3.627% and 0.0149%, respectively. Daily i.g. administration of 0.25, 0.5 or 1 g/kg of GPHE for 15 consecutive days suppressed ethanol (6 ml/kg, i.g., at day 15)-induced upregulation of serum AST and ALT levels and improved histological conditions in mouse livers, indicating that GPHE protects mice from ethanol-induced liver injury. Mechanistically, GPHE downregulated the mRNA level of Dusp1 (encoding MKP1 protein, an inhibitor of the mitogen-activated protein kinases JNK, p38 and ERK), and upregulated expression and phosphorylation of JNK, p38 and ERK, which are involved in cell survival in mouse liver tissues. Also, GPHE increased PCNA (a cell proliferation marker) expression and reduced TUNEL-positive (apoptotic) cells in mouse livers.
Conclusion: GPHE protects against ethanol-induced liver injury, and this effect of GPHE is associated with regulation of the MKP1/MAPK pathway. This study provides pharmacological justifications for the use of GPH in treating liver injury, and suggests that GPHE has potential to be developed into a modern medication for managing liver injury.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Molecular Medicine
- Pharmaceutical Science
- Drug Discovery
- Complementary and alternative medicine
- Puerariae thomsonii radix
- Hovebiae semen
- Liver injury